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Jan 22 2013

The honorless party

Republicans. Bleh. Yesterday, while one Virginia Democrat, Henry Marsh, was in Washington DC for the inaugural, the state Republicans took advantage of his absence to ram through a redistricting plan. I really, really hate the way both parties play games with districts to gain an advantage, but to do it by waiting until a civil rights veteran isn’t looking is rank cowardice and more than a little skeevy.

But they had new depths to plumb. On Martin Luther King Day, they adjourned the senate session in memory of General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, traitor and defender of slavery. Hey, Southerners: you lost the war, your ancestors betrayed the country, and they did it all for the cause of institutionalized racism. Get over it. It’s past time to stop romanticizing and celebrating an evil cause.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    Leanchoilia

    It belies a certain amount of desperation to stoop to tactics like that.

    Dunno how much more obvious they can make it that the party is flailing for influence and relevance like a drowning person at a life preserver.

  2. 2
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    This just depresses me.

    Combine things like this with the REDMAP stuff and we’re coming to a situation where we can’t do shit about it. The Republicans are in power in too many blue states, and they’re going to rework, cheat, and push through legislation that will change the rules. They want to turn the US into a Republican stronghold, and they’ll do it by rigging the game.

    Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia (perhaps more I haven’t heard so far) are all trying to change the way we vote for Prez. It will be a district-by-district thing. And now with this redistricting legislation (and don’t for one second believe it won’t pass. McDonnell will sign this thing into law the second it hits his desk) there are more safe Republican districts. Virginia will vote majority for the Democrat, but only the city districts will count and it’ll be 4 electoral votes Democrat, 9 electoral votes Republican.

    See, Virginia will totes be a Republican state! It’s just all them durned nig— I mean city folk who vote Democrat.

  3. 3
    carlie

    From a WaPo op ed:

    George W. Bush declined to join former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at the ceremony (Bush’s father missed it, too, although he has been in poor health.) Mitt Romney sent regrets and, it appeared, the vast majority of House Republicans skipped the proceedings as well.

    With Republican citizens also shunning the event, the crowd gave huge cheers for liberal favorites — John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons, Sonia Sotomayor — and hardly a peep when Lamar Alexander, a Senate GOP leader, gave a magnanimous speech about the moment, “our most conspicuous and enduring symbol of the American democracy . . . this freedom to vote for our leaders, and the restraint to respect the results.”

    So lots of Republicans specifically snubbed the event, including a former president, and the one who did have to show up talked about having “restraint” in respecting the result of democracy. They’re petulant children, the lot of them. Democracy is only good when they win. They think they should get cookies for not going into open revolt when their opponent wins. Even a former president refuses to go to the event. For fuck’s sake.

  4. 4
    Pteryxx

    Now I wonder how many Republicans ‘snubbed’ the event specifically so they could pass legislation behind their colleagues’ backs.

  5. 5
    carlie

    All this sneaky legislation passing and redistricting – gosh, it’s almost as if they don’t think their ideas have enough merit to win in a free marketplace of ideas.

    And don’t get me started on Mitt. I thought I couldn’t despise him any more until he completely dropped out after the election. Taking a few weeks to rejuvenate is one thing, but he’s left altogether. That proves he was never in it for the politics. He was never in it because he actually believed that he had the right answer for the country, that he knew how to do things, that he thought he could actually make things better. He just wanted the title. And if he couldn’t have that, then he wasn’t going to put any effort into it at all. People who care don’t do that. Even Republicans who want everything tilted towards themselves care enough about that to work for it; he couldn’t even be arsed to put anything into making things better for his own rich people once it was clear he wouldn’t be called “Mr. President”.

  6. 6
    eric

    The Stonewall Jackson thing is not new. I think its actually toned down now; ten years ago VA was officially declaring the day “Lee Jackson King day” [for Robert E. and Stonewall]. Now they merely unofficially honor Jackson on it.

  7. 7
    Michael Sadowsky

    Gerrymandering is obviously a broken process, but it makes little sense to criticize Democrats for engaging in it where they can. What would be best would be a national end to gerrymandering, but that obviously isn’t happening any time soon. In the mean time, the Democrats would have to win the national house popular vote by around 5 points to take back the house because of the GOP’s gerrymandering advantage. If the Democrats were to unilaterally disarm and refuse to gerrymander in Democratic-controlled states, this GOP advantage would grow much larger and the system would be even less representative.

  8. 8
    machintelligence

    Katherine L @ 2
    The Republicans have realized that they cannot win now without cheating. With any luck, in four years they will realize they cannot win even with cheating. Call me an optimist.

  9. 9
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Bah. Let those fuckers secede. They won’t last a decade before becoming a wasteland ruled by warlords.

  10. 10
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Traitors then, not too far from traitors now.

  11. 11
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Machintelligence:

    I had a big ole post going on, but I hit the back button ><

    I went to the voting for the 2012 election, and saw that of the states trying to pass the "elections by district, not popular vote" thing were Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Using states voting figures for House Districts – extrapolating that the vote would tend towards the party that got voted in – Obama would have lost 48 electoral votes and Romney would have won 29.

    Obama would have won with 284 electoral votes, and Romney would have lost with 235. But those five states aren't the only ones. ALL the battleground states have been floating this idea of no more winner-takes-all elections. Using gerrymandering and redistricting, they are trying to make the future of this country red.

    Red states forever, red country forever.

    Wish I could be optimistic, but there's no way to stop these people now. Solidly Republican state legislatures with Republican governors assure it.

  12. 12
    noastronomer

    Is it worth pointing out that Stonewall Jackson would quite happily have shot the first Republican president? No? Didn’t think so.

    @Audley #10

    Yes, but then we would have to deal with the cleanup.

  13. 13
    grumpyoldfart

    On Martin Luther King Day, they adjourned the senate session in memory of General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, traitor and defender of slavery.

    That’s like a ten year old boy poking his tongue out at the old lady down the street – and then strutting back to his friends saying, “See how brave I am.”

  14. 14
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Noastronomer:
    Why would we? They don’t have enough oil to concern ourselves with nation building efforts.

    Have I mentioned that I’m feeling really jaded lately?

  15. 15
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    and hardly a peep when Lamar Alexander, a Senate GOP leader, gave a magnanimous speech about the moment, “our most conspicuous and enduring symbol of the American democracy . . . this freedom to vote for our leaders, and the restraint to respect the results.”

    A freedom they’re not keen to allow in, say, Haiti or Honduras.

  16. 16
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    A freedom they’re not keen to allow in, say, Haiti or Honduras.

    Or Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania . . . .

    Odd how working to make it more difficult for people to vote is somehow linked to patriotism.

  17. 17
    lb

    @ eric #6

    Virginia state workers had this past Friday off for Lee-Jackson Day. They still celebrate it officially here in the Commonwealth. And April is Confederate Month.

  18. 18
    Kagehi

    Red states forever, red country forever.

    Hmm. I see an ironic moment possibly coming, where people will be crying, “Better dead than red!”, and not be referring to communism. In fact, I can see a bumper sticker with a nearly all red US map, with that line on it. :p

  19. 19
    Rip Steakface

    Hmm. I see an ironic moment possibly coming, where people will be crying, “Better dead than red!”, and not be referring to communism. In fact, I can see a bumper sticker with a nearly all red US map, with that line on it. :p

    What’s funny about the respective party colors is that they never officially adopted those colors. It’s just that in the 2000 election, news networks randomly settled on red for Republicans and blue for Democrats, despite the left/right colors being the exact opposite in other countries. Indeed, in previous years and on a couple networks at different times, the colors have been reversed, which would make a helluva lot more sense.

    This was surprising for me to learn as a young person, since we’ve had the blue = D and red = R association put upon us for most of our lives.

  20. 20
    zb24601

    Virginia has a state holiday called Lee-Jackson-King Day to honor Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson and Martian Luther King, Jr. (IMHO, only one of those men deserve to be honored, so I do not recognize the state holiday, but just the national holiday.) I lived in Richmond, VA while in University. I nicknamed Monument Avenue as “Avenue of Traitors” because all but a few of the statues were of southern civil war leaders. One was to Jefferson Davis, who was indited for treason. Foreign students were often asked why we would have statues honoring those who lost a war against our own country.


    I am very worried by what the republicans are doing. They are doing redistricting to get more seats in the state legislatures and in the US Congress. They are passing laws to make it harder for some people (those more likely to vote for the democrats) to vote or even to register to vote. They are trying to undercut unions because they often support democrats. They are trying to change the way electoral votes are counted. (In the 2012 election, if we used the method they are trying to pass, President Romney would be in the White House now.) What they are trying to do is, IMHO, a slow motion coup d’etat.


    Then there’s climate change…

  21. 21
    Jadehawk

    A freedom they’re not keen to allow in, say, Haiti or Honduras.

    silly SC. freedom is only for Real Americans (AKA white men with US citizenship*).

    - – - – - -
    *I was gonna write US passports, and then realized that would be inaccurate :-p

  22. 22
    phoenicianromans

    Come up with a short model piece of wording on districting fairly (it’s not that difficult). Attach it as a rider to EVERY Bill in the rotten States, and make a point of fighting on it, getting the votes down on record.

  23. 23
    mxh

    We’d be better of if we had just let them secede. It’s ridiculous that they could get away with this. Now that a lot of swing states are trying to allocate electoral votes by house district, they’ll cheat their way to the presidency also. As of now, democrats would have to beat republicans by 7.5% nationally to get a majority in the house.

  24. 24
    lb

    @ zb24601 #20

    I live in Richmond and have for the last 30+ years. There used to be a Lee-Jackson-King day but that’s not been the case for quite a while. They’re now two separate holidays so state workers get a 4 day weekend. My housemate is a state worker and he got this past Friday and Monday off. Monday was MLK Day and Friday was Lee-Jackson Day.

    And you’re right about Monument being the Avenue of Traitors, but don’t ever say that in public if you know what’s good for you. They did put a statue of Arthur Ashe north of the Boulevard, though. After a lot of protest, though.

  25. 25
    David Marjanović

    Even a former president refuses to go to the event. For fuck’s sake.

    To be fair, you are talking about Captain Unelected.

    Indeed, in previous years and on a couple networks at different times, the colors have been reversed

    I’ve heard it used to be blue = incumbent and red = challenger.

  26. 26
    shouldbeworking

    …, gave a magnanimous speech about the moment, “our most conspicuous and enduring symbol of the American democracy . . . this freedom to vote for our leaders, and the restraint to respect the results.”

    My thanks to the GOP for allowing us Canucks to share your symbol.

  27. 27
    Amphiox

    Even a former president refuses to go to the event. For fuck’s sake.

    Well at least the two Georges had a semi-legitimate excuse.

    But Mitt Romney, I’ve heard, is the first losing challenger in history to not attend the winner’s inauguration.

  28. 28
    ck

    silly SC. freedom is only for Real Americans (AKA white men with US citizenship*).

    Silly Jadehawk. Real Americans are Republican white men with a net worth of over 10 million.

  29. 29
    Alexander the Good Enough

    Oh quit picking on Mitt! The poor man has enough money that he doesn’t have to care, or for that matter even know how. (And damn! Are all the rest of us ever glad that HE didn’t get elected! Horrors! Thank doG!)

  30. 30
    carbonbasedlifeform

    Some years ago, I really angered a Southerner when he said the “War of Northern Aggression” and I said “Are you referring to what is properly called ‘The War of Southern Treason’?” I suppose he didn’t like having the facts shoved under his nose.

    I asked him if he honored the Confederate Flag, and he said he did, to honor the men who fought for it. I then mentioned to him that I had known men who had fought with distinction for Germany in World War II, and asked if one should fly the Nazi flag to honor them. He claimed that the two cases were fundamentally different, but somehow was unable to articulate the differences.

  31. 31
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Can’t tell you how many times I had similar arguments with The Jackass over the Confederate rag and the “real” reasons for the Civil War. He claimed it had “nothing to do with slavery” and was all about “state’s rights”. Um… yeah… the “right” to own other human beings, which isn’t so much a “right” as it is an abuse of the “other”, and it was based on his oh-so-precious Bible. He didn’t like having the facts thrown at him, either, had no real response, and so responded with idiocy and violence. (That was nothing new, as it was his standard response to everything that he didn’t like.)

    But no, no, somehow pointing out reality is some kind of horrible, horrible thing that you should never do — rather like reading out loud from Kitab al Azif or King in Yellow.

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